This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Regular Punter’ series, where we gather original opinions from select, passionate fans of the clubs concerned on matters surrounding their team and share them with a wider audience…
It’s safe to say that it’s going to be an exciting, but nervy promotion run-in for Leeds United and the Elland Road faithful, as they look to make a long-awaited return back into the Premier League.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are currently sat second in the Championship, and are just five points clear of third-placed Fulham with ten league games remaining in this year’s campaign.
The Leeds supporters could be forgiven for not getting ahead of themselves as well, as they threw away a golden chance to win promotion last season after a poor run of form eventually saw them lose to Derby County in their play-off semi-final.
Football League World’s Leeds United fan pundit Bradley Marshall doesn’t think that his side will win promotion this term, although that is purely down to the fact he doesn’t want to ‘jinx’ their good run of results in recent weeks.
“I want to say yes, but deep down I don’t think we will. There is a part of me that doesn’t want to jinx it so I am trying to stay fairly grounded.
“It has been a long season and we still have ten games left, but it feels like these ten games are going to be the longest ten games of the majority of young Leeds fans lives, including myself.”
The fan pundit went on to make the somewhat surprising admission in saying that he isn’t confident heading towards the end of the season despite Leeds’ upturn in recent results.
“I am not confident at all. Every time I see the fixtures, I shake my head in disbelief. On paper it looks like a walk in the park, however avid Championship fans know that this is the most exciting league in world football, and ultimately the most unpredictable league too.
“You have teams like Wigan going to both us and West Brom and picking up three points, Luton losing 7-0 ,then in the return fixture against Brentford beating them 2-1. Anybody would be insane to predict the outcome of the remaining ten games. I feel we play better against better sides, against teams that try to play football against us, teams that press and play with a high intensity.
Marshall stated that when Leeds come up against a team that are willing to ‘sit in’ and play for a point, they struggle, as has already been the case against the likes of Wigan Athletic, who beat Marcelo Bielsa’s side 1-0 earlier this season.
“When we get attacked we play so much better as it makes us move the ball much faster and play with more intensity. That’s why I feel these remaining games against lower-placed teams are going to be extremely tough. The majority of these teams coming to Elland Road won’t come to play football, but they will come to break up play, slow the game down at every opportunity, and defend for their lives with the hope that they can grab a goal on the break or from a set piece.
“This worries me deeply. Snatch and grab comes to mind and you can safely say its happened before. Homes games against Wigan and Swansea come to mind straight away. I am in no way disrespecting the teams that try to do this, as it’s a good game plan that tends to work, however it worries me that it does tend to work against Leeds.”
The regular punter went on to admit that this season would be a failure if Leeds weren’t to win promotion into the Premier League under the guidance of Marcelo Bielsa, and outlined the potential impacts that another season in the Championship could have for his side.
“It would be an absolutely huge failure, catastrophic even. No matter what anyone tells you, last season was a huge failure. From a position of such strength to then losing the play-off semi-final from being two goals ahead. Furthermore, so much rides on this season as Bielsa will undoubtedly leave without the promise of Premier League football.
“Kalvin Phillips’ departure which would be a certainty without promotion. Any slim chance of signing Ben White or Harrison permanently would completely evaporate. We would be in one seriously deep hole. Back to square one is an understatement and this only adds even more pressure onto this season.
“No team is running away with the league and consistently getting results, that leaves such a large opening for a team to string a few results together and pull away from the pack. However if that team is to be Leeds? I am too scared to say. ‘Squeaky bum time’ is upon us, we as fans will turn up, but will the team?”
Can you name the last 12 Leeds United players to wear the No.1 shirt? Test your knowledge in our quiz!